Cutting the cost of domestic violence

councillors will today be told that funding to help tackle the causes and traumatic aftermath of domestic abuse could be about to be cut.

Domestic violence is a growing problem in the Borders and is rightly a matter of huge concern.

In a shock report prepared for today’s full council meeting, Andrea Beavon, SBC’s Violence Against Women (VAW) co-ordinator, will reveal that current funding in the region amounts to £392,000, the bulk going directly from the Scottish Government to the voluntary sector, while a further £74,000 a year is provided by Scottish Borders Council for the provision of refuge for battered women.

However, that money is a drop in the ocean when you think that the cost of addressing domestic abuse and violence against women in the Borders could be as much as £50million a year considering the costs of all the services involved in dealing with cases – criminal justice, police, health, social services, loss of economic output and civil/legal services.

With funding being cut left, right and centre, shouldn’t we, where possible, be trying to take a long-term approach to problems of violence, using a more pro-active strategy, as Ms Beavon suggests, of prevention, protection and participation, helping perpetrators to deal with their issues before they result in violence and cutting the number of victims, of which women and children are the majority?